IndyCAN E-newsletter, January 2017



Victory! Mayor includes IndyCAN’s ‘People’s Roadmap’ in Justice Reform Plan

Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced last month a major redirect toward treatment throughout the city’s criminal justice system. YOU brought this victory to Indianapolis!

Mayor Hogsett’s plan to overhaul the city’s criminal justice system includes many of the specific items IndyCAN’s People’s Roadmap to End Mass Incarceration and Mass Criminalization in Marion County (released in September) outlined, including:

  • Pre-arrest diversion and intervention by mental health professionals and law enforcement
  • A new Crisis Assessment and Intervention Center for Marion County, which will focus on treatment and long-term plans for recovery
  • Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training for all police officers and 9-1-1 operators
  • Pre-trial services and bail reform
  • Creation of a culture of transparency regarding the race of those who are arrested, charged and jailed, and for what crimes, how long they are there and how many are not convicted.

You recognized a problem. You fought to make it right. And you have made a monumental impact on our city that will impact generations to come! Congratulations! And thank you!

For More: Read the Indianapolis Criminal Justice Reform Task Force Recommendations

  return to top  

IndyCAN leaders rally for health care protection at Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis in December.

We must continue to demand:
‘Hands Off Our Health Care!’

President-elect Trump and Congressional Republicans plan to take away health coverage from every family in America who today or in the future relies on Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. 

Thirty million people lost thier health care in the dead of night when Republicans voted to defund the Affordable Care Act. We cannot let them succeed in the plan to radically restructure the social safety net and turn our health care over to Wall Street and big corporations.

In December, more than 30 clergy gathered to make plans to resist this massive attack. We held a prayer vigil at Eskenazi Hospital in December. And last weekend, we joined in to rally at the Statehouse.

“I am 71 years old, a veteran and a father,” said Phillip MacVean-Brown, IndyCAN leader with Christ Church Cathedral, at the prayer vigil. “I’m also a cancer survivor—but I probably wouldn’t be if it weren’t for my health care coverage. Now my coverage and the coverage protecting nearly 600,000 Hoosiers is threatened, despite the consequences to families like mine. In the coming year, we will face challenges never before imagined. And we will need each other to overcome them.”

This battle has only just begun. IndyCAN, our allies and people of good faith are gearing up to protect families.

What we must do now

  1. Call Senator Todd Young at (202) 224-5623, and tell him Hoosiers demand he change course. We will hold electeds accountable to protect our health care!
  2. Don’t miss the IndyCAN Annual Meeting, where we will be planning our next steps to protect families and stand united against this radical reform of health care.

Read more about plans to take away health care


Sanctuary artwork by Miguel Valdez; Lynn, Mass. Courtesy of PICO National Network.

No one stands alone!

IndyCAN congregations are preparing to protect families targeted by hate and violence

Immigrants, youth of color and religious minorities have consistently been targeted in the past year, and the threats under the new presidential administration are reaching levels we have never seen before now.

President-elect Trump’s efforts to deport immigrants, register Muslims or push stop-and-frisk policing must not continue—but they will, unless we fight to stop them.

Since the IndyCAN Resistance Rally in December, more than 20 congregations have held house meetings engaging hundreds of people who have acted on a moral sense of inclusion. They have urged our city and elected leaders to protect families targeted by hate.

Hundreds of people from Indiana joined thousands more from PICO Network federations from across the US in calling President Obama in December to use his power of presidential pardon to liberate individuals with low-level, federal drug offenses and civil immigration infractions. The President responded by granting clemency to 231 individuals, which was the largest single-day act of his presidency. In all, he granted clemency to 1,324 individuals while he was in office.

What’s happening now?

We are preparing to launch a massive movement of sanctuary and solidarity providing training and solid resources for congregations, schools and cities wishing to serve as places of refuge for those who are targeted by hate. The effort will officially launch at a public meeting, 'City of Inclusion.' Join IndyCAN to prepare for public action on Sunday, Jan. 29, at 5 p.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church. (See calendar details, below.)

A toolkit for congregations is now available

Now more than ever, we need to organize, awaken our neighbors and stand together! Our congregations must assemble to pull people out of isolation and into community. This is not a time to wait and see while our black, brown, Muslim, LGBT and others wait at risk. We must pull together, take the president-elect at his word and move to act!


return to top


Prophetic Resistance Actions:
Inauguration Week

We are called for such a time as this. Join us to declare our committment to resist hatred, provide protection for all families and build an inclusive America.

First, a celebration

On the eve of Inauguration Day, we will rally for solidarity. IndyCAN and LIVE FREE are celebrating the diversity and solidarity that was eagerly sought by a nation under President Obama.

Rally For Solidarity
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 1301 N. Goodlet, Indianapolis

Then, Belong: A Prayer for inclusion

The next day, join us for a prayer vigil as we embark on the biggest fight of our lives, to forge an America that lives up to inclusion, freedom and justice. 

Belong: A Public Event in Affirmation of Inclusion, Support and Respect
Friday, Jan. 20, at noon
Christ Church Cathedral,
55 Monument Circle, Indianapolis


Transit Nears the Finish Line

Council vote is scheduled

It’s not over yet!

After 12 weeks of reaching out to more than 40,000 Indianapolis residents, IndyCAN’s Ticket to Opportunity campaign ended in a decisive victory on Election Day. But the story is not yet complete.  Next, the City-County Council must vote to fully fund the transit plan.

Some councillors find it difficult to carry out the will of the people—nearly 60 percent of voters in 79 precincts overwhelmingly voted yes for transit—instead suggesting they may still vote no. 

Save the date and plan to rally transit to the finish line, as the Council takes its final vote on Feb. 27. We’ll gather at City Market at 6:30 p.m., then head over to Council Chamber at 7 p.m. in the City-County Building.

Our passionate action is on track to triple access to jobs in marginalized communities. Let's make sure the council carries out the will of the people and implements the transit tax at the full level. Mark your calendar!


return to top


Honoring Shining Stars

It took all of IndyCAN, and our allies, working together to bring home the transit victory on Election Day. Each one of us should be proud of the work we accomplished!

Out of the hundreds of leaders who selflessly gave of their time, passion and energy, some stepped into extraordinary leadership, guiding a team that ultimately met our voter-outreach goals. We want to thank each of these extraordinary leaders, our Shining Stars, by name:

  • Pastor John Davis, Sanders Temple COGIC
  • Chelsea Goodlow, New Beginning Fellowship Church
  • Melanie Moore, Eastern Star Church
  • J’Trae Daniels, New Direction Christian Church
  • Deborah Brown, Eagle's Nest Church
  • Kay Tawney, All Souls Unitarian Church
  • Betty Lynch, All Souls Unitarian Church
  • Don Reed, St. Luke's United Methodist Church
  • Matt Ellis, St. Paul's Episcopal Church
  • Martinez Family, St. Anthony Catholic Church
  • Charlie Davis, St. Philip Neri Catholic Church
  • Francisco Chavez, St. Philip Neri Catholic Church
  • Ed Witulski, St. Monica Catholic Church
  • Kayla Bledsoe, Marian University
  • Nancy Beign, All Saints Episcopal Church
  • Alpha Whittaker, Central Christian Church
  • Indira Samuels, Christ Church Cathedral, Episcopal
  • Johnni Thompson, Christ Church Cathedral, Episcopal
  • Frank Kandell, Shalom Mennonite
  • Diana Creaser, Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Dave Jackoway, Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis
  • Shannon Dycus, First Mennonite Church
  • Joyce Lydell, ATU (Amalgamated Transit Union)
  • Crystal Puckett, Eastern Star Church

Board-member Transitions

From left, Charlie Davis, Sharon Trotter and Alex Slabosky have completed their terms on the IndyCAN board of directors. (Slabosky photo courtesy IBJ.)

Three of our board members have transitioned off the board at the end of 2016, and three more will come on board at our annual meeting Jan. 31. Sharon Trotter, Charlie Davis and Alex Slabosky, the IndyCAN team thanks you for three years of incredible, impassioned service for Indianapolis.

Board members and shining stars, people’s lives are better because of each of you! Thank you!

  return to top  
  <h3 >Annual Meeting: Important Information

At this important meeting (see details by clicking on light-blue graphic, below), we will assess this critical moment in our country, propose goals for the year and elect new IndyCAN leadership. Don’t miss it! (All team delegates, clergy and board members, please plan to attend.)


Indianapolis Congregation
Action Network (IndyCAN!)
337 N. Warman Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46222
(317) 759-3370



About IndyCAN. IndyCAN is a non-partisan, multi-faith, multi-ethnic organization and is not aligned explicitly or implicitly with any candidate or party. We do not endorse or support candidates for office. IndyCAN works to improve the quality of life for residents of the Indianapolis Region.

Subscription Info. You are subscribed to Indianapolis Congregation Action Network - IndyCAN! as [[Email]]. Click here to unsubscribe.